Five Brits in the mix for Olympia dressage title — but who’s missing?

Richard Davison riding BUBBLINGH during the CDI 3* Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle during the Bolesworth International Horse Show near Chester in Cheshire in the UK on 14th May 2017

Olympians Richard Davison and Emile Faurie will spearhead the British attack at this year’s Olympia CDIW4* (12-13 December).

However notable absentees from this year’s line-up are crowd-favourites Carl Hester, freestyle winner in 2015 and 2016 with Nip Tuck, and Charlotte Dujardin, who won with Valegro in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Richard will partner Bubblingh, the 11-year-old Lingh gelding with whom he won the grand prix freestyle at this year’s Hickstead CDI in July. There they posted 74.18%.

Emile will bring forward Elena Knyaginicheva’s 13-year-old breeding stallion Delatio (De Niro x Rubinstein) — a horse he has had the ride on for just four months. The striking black stallion dominated at Vale View’s high profile show in October, claiming the grand prix with over 74%.

He will be joined by Gareth Hughes riding his European Championship team-selected horse Don Carissimo, who sadly had to be withdrawn due to injury after arrival in Gothenburg this summer. This will be the Don Crusador 12-year-old’s first international competition since, but he had already made huge waves in what is his first season of grand prix, with a freestyle personal best of 76.67%.

Gareth Hughes riding DON CARISSIMO during the CDI 3* Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle during the Bolesworth International Horse Show near Chester in Cheshire in the UK on 14th May 2017

World Equestrian Games (WEG) hopefuls Hayley Watson-Greaves and Lara Butler make up the British contingent. Hayley will ride her own 13-year-old Rubin Royal son Rubins Nite, with whom she was crowned British Dressage national champion earlier this year. The pair have already achieved several top 10 placings on the World Cup circuit this autumn.

Lara returns to the Olympia arena with the Becktolsheimers’ 15-year-old Rubin Al Asad, also by Rubin Royal. The pair were named reserves for both the Rio Olympics and the 2017 European Championship team, and recently finished second at Oldenburg CDI4* with a grand prix personal best of plus 74%.

Ireland’s Judy Reynolds will return to the international arena with her popular Jazz gelding Vancouver K – another who was withdrawn from the Europeans due to injury — while British-based Dane Anders Dahl will pilot his consistent performer, the 13-year-old Selten HW.

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Among the international field, from which eight nations will be represented, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel will partner his Gothenburg ride Delaunay OLD, who has posted freestyle scores in the 80s this year. Holland’s Edward Gal will bring forward his talented nine-year-old stallion Glock’s Zonik.

The grand prix will take place on Tuesday 12 December at 7.30pm, with the freestyle on Wednesday 13 December at 7.20pm.

The full list of competitors is as follows:

  • Quartz of Jazz                Marie Emilie Bretenoux (France)
  • Star Wars                        Bertrand Liegard (France)
  • Alcazar                             Katherine Bateson Chadler (US)
  • Bubblingh                       Richard Davison (Great Britain)
  • Don Carissimo               Gareth Hughes (Great Britain)
  • Delatio                             Emile Faurie (Great Britain)
  • Rubins Nite                    Hayley Watson-Greaves (Great Britain)
  • Rubin Al Asad                Lara Butler (Great Britain)
  • Vancouver K                   Judy Reynolds (Ireland)
  • Selten HW                       Anders Dahl (Denmark)
  • Glock’s Zonik                  Edward Gal (the Netherlands)
  • Thriller                             Katja Gevers (the Netherlands)
  • Michigan                          Ulrik Moelgaard (Denmark)
  • Cennin                              Madeleine Witte-Vrees (the Netherlands)
  • Delaunay Old                   Patrik Kittel (Sweden)
  • Roberto Des Frettes       Charlotte Haid Bondergaard (Sweden)
  • Sir Donnerhall II Old     Morgan Barbancon Mestre (Spain)

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